“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.”
At Lordswood school, as part of our school ethos of Proud Traditions, Wide Horizons and High Achievement, we want pupils to be MASTERS of technology. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students’ lives and careers. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum, encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our skills-rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively and ask thinking questions which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists. We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope that by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation (computer science)
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems (computer science)
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems (information technology)
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology (digital literacy)
Our scheme of work for Computing covers all aspects of the National Curriculum. We have created a comprehensive progression document for staff to follow to best embed and cover every element of the computing curriculum. This is supported by the use of ‘immersive’ units of work which can be built upon over a short and long period of time ensuring depth within their learning. The knowledge/skills statements also build year on year to ensure high achievement for all. To ensure that children are progressing and all skills are being covered, we assess the children using Target Tracker and undertake regularly internal ‘book looks’ and learning walks.
The curriculum aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to thrive in the digital world of today and the future (whether that be game makers, coders, engineers or simply to assist with other career paths). The curriculum can be broken down into 3 strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy, with the aims of the curriculum reflecting this distinction.
Online Safety and Digital Citizenship
A key part of implementing our computing curriculum was to ensure that safety of our pupils is paramount. We take online safety very seriously and we aim to give children the necessary skills to keep themselves safe online. Children have a right to enjoy childhood online, to access safe online spaces and to benefit from all the opportunities that a connected world can bring them, appropriate to their age and stage. We aim to reinforce online safety throughout the year with a monthly focus and by taking part in Safer Internet Day each year.
Within each year group, topics include:
Self-image and Identity – This strand explores the differences between online and offline identity beginning with self-awareness, shaping online identities and media influence in propagating stereotypes. It identifies effective routes for reporting and supports and explores the impact of online technologies on self-image and behaviour.
Online Relationships – This strand explores how technology shapes communication styles and identifies strategies for positive relationships in online communities. It offers opportunities to discuss relationships, respecting, giving and denying consent and behaviours that may lead to harm and how positive online interaction can empower and amplify voice.
Online Reputation – This strand explores the concept of reputation and how others may use online information to make judgements. It offers opportunities to develop strategies to manage personal digital content effectively and capitalise on technology’s capacity to create effective positive profiles.
Online Bullying – This strand explores bullying and other online aggression and how technology impacts those issues. It offers strategies for effective reporting and intervention and considers how bullying and other aggressive behaviour relates to legislation.
Managing Online information – This strand explores how online information is found, viewed and interpreted. It offers strategies for effective searching, critical evaluation of data, the recognition of risks and the management of online threats and challenges. It explores how online threats can pose risks to our physical safety as well as online safety. It also covers learning relevant to ethical publishing.
Health Well-being and Lifestyle – This strand explores the impact that technology has on health, well-being and lifestyle e.g. mood, sleep, body health and relationships. It also includes understanding negative behaviours and issues amplified and sustained by online technologies and the strategies for dealing with them.
Privacy and Security – This strand explores how personal online information can be used, stored, processed and shared. It offers both behavioural and technical strategies to limit impact on privacy and protect data and systems against compromise.
Copyright and Ownership – This strand explores the concept of ownership of online content. It explores strategies for protecting personal content and crediting the rights of others as well as addressing potential consequences of illegal access, download and distribution.
To help with our implementation of the computing curriculum we have a variety of hardware available including; laptops, Ipads, Learnpads, VR Goggles and Now Press Play.
All children are provided with Google Classroom accounts and work can be accessed in school and remotely. Work, created in school or at home, is regularly celebrated on our school social media sites, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
At Lordswood School, children enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. By constantly asking the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW, children become masters of technology. Learners discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being and they understand how this could develop into a career path.
Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education, a healthy lifestyle and teaching the creators of the future. Our children realise the need for the right balance and they can build on this in their next stage of education and beyond to help overcome issues. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this.
The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work shows the impact of our curriculum and promotes a positive use of social media. Evidence of skilful computer scientists can be seen by reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Google Classroom, week-in-learning meetings, data and observing learning regularly.
Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes. Our pupils are fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding by Upper Key Stage 2 and have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers. Children can understand, apply and evaluate the fundamental principles and concepts of Computing and will have had many practical experiences to embed all elements of the National Curriculum statements. Children are digitally literate and know many ways to safeguard themselves online.